The Beeston Community Forum is a non-political, non-sectarian organisation which campaigns on behalf of the residents of Beeston.

The Forum is governed by a constitution. A new constitution was approved by the Annual General Meeting in December 2006 and amended at the AGM in December 2008. The constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting at a General Meeting of the Forum. The members of the Forum must also be given a minimum of 28 days’ notice of any proposal to amend the constitution.

The Annual General Meeting of the Forum generally takes place on the first Thursday of December in each year, although the constitution enables this date to be varied, in exceptional circumstances. The most important function of the AGM is to elect the Committee for the coming year. There are currently four officers of the Beeston Forum (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer) although the constitution provides for additional officer positions to be created, if this is considered to be necessary. In addition to the officers, there are up to fourteen ordinary members of the Committee, with no officer responsibilities. The AGM considers an Annual Report, which sets out full details of the Forum’s activities during the past year. The Annual General Meeting also hears brief speeches from senior political figures in the City of Leeds. A buffet is normally served to the members and guests present after the AGM.

In addition to the Annual General Meeting of the Forum, there are also General Meetings of the Forum. Such a General Meeting normally takes place in each month (usually on the first Thursday of the month; the December General Meeting is generally the AGM). There is generally a guest speaker, dealing with a topic of interest to the residents of Beeston. The forum has invited a wide range of guest speakers.  In addition to the contributions from guest speakers, those present at the meeting have the opportunity to raise issues of interest to residents of Beeston. Occasionally, there is no guest speaker. Where this happens, the opportunities for those present at the meeting to raise issues are greater.

All residents of Beeston are considered to be members of the Beeston Community Forum without payment of any subscription unless they are expelled from membership of the Forum (it is the intention of the present committee of the Forum only to consider expulsion in exceptional circumstances) , or make it clear to the Secretary of the Forum that they do not wish to be treated as members. The Beeston Forum Constitution defines the area of Beeston. The constitution gives the Committee powers to introduce a subscription-based membership, but this is unlikely to happen.

General Meetings of the Forum are public meetings, which may be attended by members of the Forum, or members of the general public living outside Beeston, unless they are expelled from membership of the Forum, or conduct themselves in a disorderly fashion. General Meetings of the Forum frequently pass resolutions requesting the Forum to take a particular course of action. The Constitution provides for the calling of Special General Meetings of the Forum, in addition to the monthly meetings. 

The day-to-day management of the Forum is undertaken by a Committee, which, as explained above is elected at the Annual General Meeting. Committee meetings are held in private and are normally attended only by members of the Committee, although non-members are occasionally present by invitation of the Chair, or a resolution of the Committee. Members of the committee are entitled to assume that their remarks at committee meetings are confidential, and it is indeed occasionally vital to the effective functioning of the Forum if some matters discussed at the Committee remain confidential. A brief report of each committee meeting is generally made to the following General Meeting of the Forum. The committee generally meets monthly, two weeks after the General Meeting of the Forum, although there is generally no Committee meeting in August. In addition, the Chair, or any four members of the Committee may call a Special Meeting of the Committee, to discuss matters which need to be dealt with urgently. Although the Forum is non-political, members of political parties can, and do, seek election to the committee, which currently includes one member of each of the three major political parties (as at October 2010). However, all members of the Committee fully uphold and respect the non-political status of the Forum, and the party-political implications of the Forum’s activities are rarely, if ever discussed. The Committee, like a General Meeting of the Forum, frequently passes resolutions to take action (frequently about issues affecting the residents of Beeston). Decisions of the Committee cannot conflict with decisions of General Meetings of the Forum.

The Forum has achieved a wide range of successes on behalf of the residents of Beeston in its campaigning activities, and has earned widespread respect amongst senior figures in Leeds.    





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